Resolutions—I stink at making them. I’m even worse at keeping them. Inevitably, I always make some kind of weak promise to quit drinking soda or a vow to walk around the block every day before work for exercise. Sometimes, it’s been that I read a devotional a day or have a verse for the day that I meditate on. And I get past week two and my resolutions are gone, scattered like bits of post-celebration confetti blowing in the breeze.
I wanted to do something different this year. Something more than a half-hearted resolution on a reminder sticky note. I wanted this year to be about real resolve. I’ve seen people doing a word of the year in the past. You choose a word that describes your purpose for the year. The word is intended to bring life to your decisions, choices, and actions for the next 365 days.
I prayed and thought on it for a while about what I wanted my word to be. I didn’t want something so vague that it didn’t accurately reflect what I wanted the year to be about, but I didn’t want it so specific that it didn’t fit with the direction my life was moving. And just like that, God gave it to me. A word that not only has very emotional meaning for me, but one that literally sums up the course He designed for me to take: sharpen.
Sharp·en /SHärpən/ verb 1. Make or become sharp, 2. Improve or cause to improve.
Both definitions seem so relevant to me in this season of my life. Those who read my first post know that Proverbs 27:17 is my life verse with Emily. Our goal with each other and with all of our friends who hang with us on this porch of life is to sharpen each other as iron does. My aim is to be intentional in our friendship and in our walk of faith. We’re asking each other questions, sharpening our knowledge of the Bible and of Jesus. We’re challenging in thoughts and ideas, always pushing to become more aware of the will of God. And I’m constantly learning to improve my walk, my faith, and my compassion.
I want to sharpen my focus on God’s call for me. I’m carving out specific times during the week to hear God’s voice and listen to what He would have me write. I’m sharpening my attention on my family time. I’m making sure that the things I’m doing with them are engaging us in real conversation and quality time together. And I’m sharpening the act of listening. I want to really hear what people around me are saying, and I also want to hear the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit guiding me in my journey here on earth. And I believe that as I do this, Proverbs 16:3 will be a real truth in my life, “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.”
I may not have a lengthy list of resolutions this year, but I trust that the resolution in this word, sharpen, will lead me to one of the best years of my life—a life of obedience and fulfillment like I’ve never seen before. And I’m looking forward to it!
So what’s your word? Did God give you a word or a phrase that you’re using for the year to help you be intentional with your time? Let us know what it is in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!